A/N: POWER! Oh glorious electricity, how I missed thee!
In other words, the skies opened up and dropped about 2 feet of snow in 12 hours, along with winds of 60-90km/h. A tree fell on the power lines (not 10 feet from where I was standing…) and I lost power for a little over two days. In that time, I could get zero work done. My computer was out, and my lined paper was at school (which was closed.)
Anyways, I got a couple comments that my chapters are a bit too short, so this one will be a bit longer. It was originally planned as two chapters, but I decided to merge it when I rewrote my plan. This is going to be roughly the length of all the future chapters. Please don't tell me it is not long enough. I really can't make them any longer.
Towards the Twilight
Link emerged from the Gerudo Desert just as the sun began to set. The journey back through the desert had been easy. Perhaps by the power of the Sages, or the ancient magics surrounding the area, Link found that several of the barrels within the Arbiter's Grounds still contained fresh water. Without dehydration as a constant threat, the journey was not nearly as exhausting as the first.
As he moved down the mountain side towards Lake Hylia, Link couldn't help but stop to admire the sunset. Something about how the sun shone off the surface of the lake had always fascinated Link. He had spent more than one sunset here with Midna.
Midna. The thought of his friend brought the meeting with the Sages back to his attention.
It was possible.
Link was still having trouble comprehending that. Hard as it may be, it was still possible to enter her world. As much as he ached to see Midna, Link was beginning to have a few second thoughts. The Triforce would bring him to the Twilight Realm, but once there, he would not be able to use it to get back. He would almost certainly be stuck there forever.
That would mean leaving his many friends. It would mean leaving those who had treated Link as family. It would mean leaving Zelda. In the several weeks before Link had returned to Ordon, he had become quite close to the Princess. ((See ending A/N to clear up any confusion.)) While most of Hyrule was throwing themselves at his feet, as they might have done to the King or Queen, Zelda had treated Link as a person.
Perhaps, he had once thought to himself, if the circumstances were different, we might have fallen in love.
It would be so easy to forget about the Twilight Realm. So easy to settle down, perhaps fall in love with Zelda. He would have a normal life. A life filled with people who cared deeply about him. Yet, in his heart Link knew that he would not truly be happy.
Midna had made Link feel different. She had made him feel happy, even when all hell was breaking loose. More than once he had considered the possibility that she was more than just a friend.
Figuring that he had dawdled enough, Link started down the mountainside once more.
The walk to Hyrule Castle was long and tiring. It was almost longer than Link could handle. Not wanting to be a public spectacle, he was forced to travel mostly by night. The result being that Link was barely managing a few hours sleep a day.
The many steep hills of the Hyrule Field also presented a problem whilst traveling at night. More than once Link had to fight to catch himself after tripping over some rock hiding in the shadows.
Eventually Link arrived at the gates of Hyrule Castle, terribly exhausted and just a little worse for wear. It was a little after midnight when he arrived, and he wasn't about to wait until morning to see Zelda.
Needless to say, the guards were unhappy with letting Link into the castle so late at night. When he asked that the Princess be woken immediately, he was certain that he would have to run for his life. Yet eventually, the guards resigned and went to wake the Princess.
One of the remaining guards led Link up the stairs towards Zelda's private quarters. An action that Link deemed quite unnecessary, given the amount of times he had been there. At last, after what seemed like a lifetime of walking, Link was standing outside of Zelda's quarters. Knowing that this would likely be the hardest part of his quest, Link pushed open the door and entered her room.
"Welcome back, Link."
Zelda was obviously not concerned with the state in which Link saw her. She was still lying in her bed, propped up by her pillows. She had not bothered to get dressed, as one would expect from a princess.
"I am sorry for waking you," said Link.
"Oh, not to worry. I don't mind at all," she said. "I assume your journey was a safe one?"
"For the most part, yes. There were a few close calls in the field."
"It's possible," Link answered, sounding somewhat downtrodden.
Zelda was obviously quite confused. She knew Link wanted to see Midna more than anything. She had no idea why Link would be depressed. Seeing her obvious confusion, Link started explaining.
"According to the Sages, the only way into her realm is with the Triforce. I would need all three pieces."
That was why. Zelda knew that Link expected her to be reluctant in giving up the Triforce of Wisdom. In truth, she was. The Triforce of Wisdom was the symbol of the Royal Family; it had been passed down for generations.
"I must think on it," she said, not waiting for Link to even ask the question. "In the meantime, you should seek the remaining piece of the Triforce."
"Actually, Zelda, if you don't mind, I'd like to stay at the castle for a while."
The Princess was completely shocked by this. She had figured that Link would waste no time in seeing Midna. He certainly hadn't wasted time in going to the Sages. Still, she could see the sense in waiting. He was clearly exhausted, and had probably not slept well for many weeks. He looked underfed, malnourished, even.
The more Zelda thought about it, the more she agreed with his idea. Link was among her closest friends. Even when he was in Ordon, she had always maintained some for of contact with him. To see him in this state…
"Yes, of course you may stay," Zelda answered. "The guest rooms are full at the moment, though I am certain someone will give up their room for the 'Hero of Hyrule'. You may stay here with me tonight, if you do not mind."
Link sat down on the edge of Zelda's massive bed. Had he not been so exhausted, he would have likely have turned down her offer.
"I will, thank you."
Zelda moved over, giving him room to lay down. She felt a little guilty; the guest rooms were not close to being full. Still, she did not want to give him the opportunity to leave during the night once more, however unlikely that he would take it.
"You may finish telling me of the Sages in the morning. For now, get some rest. You look exhausted."
Perhaps, Link thought as he drifted to sleep. Perhaps I can be happy in this world.
The sun was beginning to set on Lake Hylia. The waters shined brilliant yellows and oranges. Even in the world of light, the beauty of Twilight existed.
To Midna, the sunsets in this world were far more beautiful than the never-ending cloud of twilight in hers. Perhaps it was because of whom she spent them with. Sitting on her right was her friend and ally. Or maybe he was more than that. In the past several days, she found that Link was making her feel things that she had never felt before.
"I checked with Fyer earlier. He says the cannon will be fixed by tomorrow."
Link's voice brought Midna back to reality.
"Good. Once it's done, we'll be able to go to the city of the Oocca. We'll be able to stop Zant."
Midna sighed. She already knew what she would have to do when the journey was over. It would hurt Link, she knew, and it would probably hurt her more. Yet, it had to be done. For the sake of both worlds, she had to do it.
Midna awoke suddenly and looked around her bedroom, as if she half-expected Link to be there. The room was nothing much. Smaller than Zelda's had been, anyways. Yet, with the public opinion of her still low, she figured that it would be best to stick with simplicity.
She had been dreaming of him again. She had dreamed of him almost every night they parted ways. The council was beginning to notice. Her constant daydreams and seemingly endless depression were seeping into her work as ruler of the Twilight Realm.
Midna knew that she shouldn't forget her duties because of him. She knew that Link wouldn't want her to. Yet, part of her still couldn't let go. Her mind was constantly filled with thoughts of what might have been.
"Your Highness," came a voice from outside the room. "are you awake?"
"Yes, yes, I'm awake. If you would wait a moment, Miramas, I will be out shortly," Midna answered.
Midna already knew why Miramas was waking her so earlier. The council wanted her. Though Midna was the ruler of the Twilight Realm in name, the council was the true governing body. They handled most of the day to day tasks of running a nation. Midna liked the idea of the council. Voted in by the people of the realm, they were fair and just. However, that still didn't stop the meetings from being quite boring.
A few minutes later, Midna emerged from her room fully dressed. Her friend and advisor, Miramas, was waiting to greet her. From the instant she saw him, she knew that he knew something she didn't.
Miramas was always laughing and smiling, as if the world was just one big joke that only he could understand. Yet the smile on his face now was different. It was excited, almost.
"Your Highness, the council wishes to meet with you. It is not a full-fledged session; it should only take a minute," he said.
Putting Miramas' expression out of her mind for now, Midna started down the corridors towards the council chamber. The Palace of Twilight was quite beautiful. It was nothing like the perverted version in which Zant had resided.
If only Link could have seen it like this, she thought. He would have loved it.
Eventually, Midna reached the large oak doors leading to the council chamber. What could they possibly want this early? Still, she had a duty to her people. He pushed open the doors and entered the chamber.
The chamber itself was likely as large as the whole of Hyrule Castle. The walls were covered by many balconies, each of which was filled with many seats for the council representatives. They spiraled up until Midna could barely see them. She had often wondered how they managed to hear each other over such a large distance. Magic, most likely.
Now, the balconies were empty. There were only a few people in the room aside from herself.
"Ah, Princess Midna. Early, for once."
The voice came from the head of the council, Narath. Narath was well liked and respected by both the council and the people of the Twilight Realm. Midna was not of the same mind. He was quite fit to lead the council, but she had always found him a tad rude.
"I am not always late, Narath," she answered.
"You know I wasn't being serious. Anyways, the council just wished to inform you that your official coronation will be in three weeks time."
Though Midna had been acting as ruler after Zant's defeat, she was still a princess. Usually, preparations for a coronation would take a full year. However, the council had rushed things along, hoping to raise her public image.
"Yes, thank you for alerting me. Is there anything else you will wish to tell me?" she asked.
"Not unless you want to hear the details on the reconstruction effort."
"No, thank you. I will pass."
While Midna did keep track of the reconstruction efforts, she could never follow the technical details. Taking this to mean this was the end of the meeting, Midna turned around and headed back to her room.
"Alright, Miramas. Are you going to tell me what's up?"
Midna was once again in her room. Miramas still wore that strange smile, and she was determined to find out why.
"Why, whatever do you mean, your Highness?" he answered.
"Oh, don't play dumb. I've known you since I was a child. I believe I can tell when you know something."
Miramas laughed and reached into his bag.
"Observant as always, your Highness," he said.
At last, he found what he was looking for. He pulled an ancient looking book out of his bag and placed it on Midna's desk. His small smile had been replaced by a struggled looking grin, almost as if Miramas was trying to fight back his excitement.
"I believe I may have found what you have been looking for."
Ending A/N: While I think you all have the mental ability to reason this out, my writing of Chapter 1 might cause a few confusions.
Basically, Midna broke the mirror roughly a week after the defeat of Ganon. Link stayed in Hyrule Castle a further two weeks before returning to Ordon. He had three weeks to get to know the Princess. After returning to Ordon, he did keep in touch with Zelda, mostly through letters. She never sent anyone to him to award the Order of Hyrule. My writing of Chapter 1 implies that he left Hyrule Castle within a day or so and not once spoke/wrote to the Princess afterwards, which is definitely not the case.
Finally, just a note on how big Hyrule is: From Lake Hylia to Arbiter's Grounds takes about two – three days. The same goes for Lake Hylia to Hyrule Castle. Link was able to make it from Lake Hylia to Arbiter's Grounds faster (about a day) as he pretty much sprinted the whole way. The journey back took him the full three days. Ordon – Hyrule did not take nearly as long, as Link was riding Epona the whole way.